At the Hendry County Community Traffic Safety Team Meeting safety concerns considering traffic within the county are discussed. It is open to the public and they welcome people to attend the meeting to discuss their ideas, frustrations or remarks. The meeting opens by discussing the four E’s. Education, for example safe routes to school, and general education material. Then there is the Enforcement, which is the Sheriff’s Office and FDOT has a law enforcement liaison that works with the law enforcement in Hendry County. Another one is the Emergency Service containing of EMS and Fire. These people are out on the roads daily so they can see what the issues and/or reoccurring events and accidents are. And the Last E is Engineering, to actually make the changes in certain traffic situations.
Thus far this year the number of fatalities from crashes have almost doubled. It went from five in 2017 to 11 in 2018. Some of these fatalities where believed to be medically related. Others involved driving and texting and driving under the influence. Another topic of discussion was the crosswalk on Bridge Street at the Courthouse south of State Road 80. The issue there is that cars stop for pedestrians at that cross which causes backing up of traffic into the intersection of Bridge Street and 80, a possible solution would be to relocate the crosswalk further south.
Another traffic problem was when cars are going eastbound on 80, at the crossing with Main Street, people use the left turn that is intended for Main Street to go straight across to the next left turn for Bridge Street. This causes a lot of traffic issues and congestions. A possible solution discussed was clearer sign-age at the crossing between 80 and Main Street.
Another interesting point was the sign on the McDonald’s parking lot that says right turn only is an unofficial sign, it is a suggestion, but it is an unofficial one that can not be enforced by law enforcement.
The next Traffic Safety Meeting is on September 6, 1:30 p.m. at the Emergency Management Center, 4425 West State Road 80.